New activation numbers show Android tablets catching up to iPad

New activation numbers show Android tablets catching up to iPad

Summary: Android tablet sales get a boost from the Nexus 7, putting Android within striking range of the up-to-now unassailable iPad.


Google has announced 70,000 tablets are now being activated per day:

“[Android is] now notching up some 1.3 million activations a day, which includes around 70,000 tablets ("We were late to them", notes Schmidt) every 24 hours.”

This number doesn't appear to count any non-Google Android tablets like the Kindle Fire, B&N Nook, or any of the other Android tablets that don't come with Google Apps (and thus are not activated through Google).

While some regard the tablets number as low, it's only low when compared to phone activations. Comparing the numbers for Android tablets vs. iOS tablets paints a different picture:

“Acknowledging the difference, Schmidt said that the figure is going up — thanks to the success of the Nexus 7. ...

In its Q3 earnings results, Apple reported that it sold 17 million iPads. That breaks down to about 188,889 units a day (using 90 days for the quarter). ”

If these figures hold constant then in a year there will be 25.6M new Android tablets and 68.9M new iOS tablets. That’s in addition to ~10M or more Kindle Fires and Nooks, and is a significant jump over previous estimates (some of which had iPad outselling Android tablets by as much as 30:1).

If Android tablet numbers were to keep increasing on this slope, they would overtake the iPad numbers in a couple of years. But Microsoft’s introduction of the Surface could throw all the numbers out of whack, so it’s hard to predict what will actually happen.

Topics: Tablets, Amazon, Apple, E-Commerce, Google, Mobility

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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  • It's going to be interesting...

    Looks like we're moving into an interesting new time in the consumer computing market. Up to now it's basically been Microsoft's world, with Apple occupying a distant second place hovering around 10% of the OS market. Now, it's looking like we're headed to a future in which four great ecosystems vill vie for supremacy: Apple/Amazon/Google/Microsoft.

    I still expect Wintel to rule the enterprise with MacOS making small, but significant inroads. But in the consumer arena, it's definitely looking like four major players all vying for an increasingly equally divided share of the pie. In addition, it looks like the ecosystem (apps/books/video) will prove as important as the underlying OS that delivers that experience.

    Of course, Microsoft is the big question mark at the moment, since Redmond has yet to deliver their RT devices into the hands of consumers, but I fully expect Microsoft to make a serious and concerted play for relevance.

    Interesting times, indeed.
    • We're "customers", not "consumers"

      The contextual difference is there... and it's why people gleefully accept less for more, or more for less, depending on who benefits (which is usually not themselves in the long term, unless something new takes the place of the previous paradigm that allows work to be fairly rewarded... if you want a middle class...)
      • or if the concept of work is valued,

        or what we choose to place value on... as pro-life, living beings of course...

        Like I said, I've barely scratched the surface...
        • I'm actually pro death.. Wat too many people;)

          Pagan jim
          James Quinn
        • If

          If I smoke some of what you've been smoking will any of what you just said start to make sense to me?
  • Economy will throw everyone out of whack

    This depression is far from over and actually worsening so it's just a matter of time for the mobile devices to run into a wall other consumer electronics already have.
    • Move to Virginia

      I live in Virginia, make a pretty good income (as does my sister, brother-in-law and friends). Virginia has posted it's 3rd straight budget surplus (130 million this time ).

      It's local government that's killing the economy, not just federal spending.

      I came from California, were my parents still are. My Dad just had to pay $17,000 in taxes on his retirement funds. My Dad paid his taxes while he was working, when he retired and has still been paying taxes, ever year since.

      When are we going to say, enough, is enough? We're working our butts off, while government officials are taking their bonuses and laughing all the way to the bank.

      At least here in Virginia, they're saving money, cleaning our natural resources, paving our streets, investing in our schools and not raising our taxes.

      Every time I go out, our malls are packed, restaurants are full, movies theaters are crammed... If the economy is throwing everyone out of whack, Virginia must be living in the fiscally fit financial triangle.

      Virginia isn't JUST for lovers! ;)
      • We do have the best government money can buy

        Thanks for boasting. Now use your money and buy it to do what you want. After all, are you not "lef2myowndevices"?

        I'm sorry you whine about working your butts off. That's your choice to not be middle class, where there is time for work and a time to relax.

        Paving streets, investing in schools, etc, costs money. At least you support government spending to a certain point.

        BTW - since you're in the same country we are, things could change in your cozy neck of the woods. And since private industry creates most jobs, and has the lobbyists workers don't...

        After all, if you acted out for a lobbyist that wanted free money in return for offshoring jobs, which in turn means people in America are out of work as we're shipping jobs overseas. This also means we create a revenue problem because there are fewer working people to tax.

        That's a little simplified, but if you really looked at some of the websites that point out what politicians vote on, you'd be in for a massive shock.

        And given the size of the economy, let's call this "macroeconomics", it will take a while before the devastation trickles down.

        But I do understand your need to protect your psyche. Keep dreaming. Stay hungry. Stay thirsty. Etc. Etc. Etc. Those who say those things thank you.
      • Uh not sure about Virginia

        Virginia gets a ton of the government spending also especially military....You really think Virginia is just being fiscally conservative? Cut the Federal spending in your state and then talk...

        "Often that program was defense spending. States like Virginia, Alaska, Maryland and New Mexico received the most money per capita in federal procurement spending, which includes things like Medicaid and NASA, but the majority of which goes to the Department of Defense. To give an idea of the amount of money the federal government poured into military bases and research centers in these states, the government spent approximately $7,300 per person on all programs in Nevada. It also spent approximately $5,000 per person on defense spending alone in Virginia."
        David Barry
    • Not just buying but developing

      Anybody who programs knows how much work goes into the games and toys people get for 99 cents. Development never used to be so cheap, and most developers don't begin to earn back their investment costs, due to many factors -- not excluding entry fees and cut that the host companies take off the top of every sale. If brick and mortar stores did that, people would be in an uproar. Those companies paid a price and then added what was needed so the B&M store could profit. The paradigm has changed. It benefits the host, and the customer who still has money, but not those who do the work whose work benefits the customer (99 cents) and the host company (30% off of each sale, on top of the $100 or whatever entry fee). It all adds up, and I've barely scratched the surface of every nuance...

      Lack of a return on investment will eventually turn off workers, but we are just "lazy", you see...
    • tablets could improve efficiency

      Like many people I now use one for the majority of personal internet use. It uses considerably less power than a pc, and yet has great 3d graphics etc.
      I could imagine cycling to generate power to charge a tablet, but a pc wouldn't be that easy. Also is less intrusive space-wise in your living space. You can add a keyboard for times when you want to type a lot of text. .. or use voice dictation.
  • I don't predict windows 8 tablets to wind the market

    but they will definitely take up a decent market share. apple's days of reigning supreme are over.
    • correction

      WIN the market, not wind the market
      • to lose is to win and those who win will lose,

        And the meek will inherit the Earth,
        and chocolate cake will finally be made for breakfast.

        • breakfast

          What kind of planet do you live on, chocolate cake has been a breakfast staple for years :-)
          Bill Urwin
    • "Apple's days of reigning supreme are over"

      I feel the context here is wrong; they should never have been reigning supreme in the first place. Okay I'll give give them year one as they re-defined the form factor requirements, but the OEM's were able to adapt to the change within months.

      It's like the iPhone Vs all android phones... The iPhone *should* be outsold - they make one device. Even with previous models still on sale, they have a very specific target audience. Companies like Samsung, Nokia, RIM, make 10's of models in each market, taylored to specific uses.

      The same should be true of the tablets; Apple currently make one size, and for all intents and purposes one model. Again the competition make a range of sizes and specifications. Not only do I expect non apple companies to catch apple I expect them to overtake apple by a large margin, reflecting the smartphone market within 4 years. However, I also expect the numbers of units shipped to increase. To this end I'd imagine apple's market share to reduce to around 40%, but their earnings in this sector to more than double over the same kind of time frame as we move from the early adopters that we currently see to the maturity of the tablet pc age, the beginning of which we are only just seeing.

      Windows RT is the one to watch in the short term; the presicted cost of full W8 tablets draws comparisons with pre- ipad tablets... Currently It's androids market to take as the lowwer spending users come in, but microsoft have all The resources on the check list to dominate the market within two years. however predicting the outcome of the windows tablet introduction is impossible- all the resources in the world can't help you if no one wants it; think windows
      Mobile, zune, previous windows tablets...

      In short apple will continue to boast eye watering profits, their business is more than fine, but it will be someone else who dominates market share; they're an elite high end firm, they can't dominate a market anymore than the SAmsung gallaxy series of phones is going to out-sell all other phones combined.
  • MS has

    priced theirs out of the market.
    • I hope you say that

      when you demand your wage prices you out of the market, while those who manipulate it (and you) get more subsidy and bailouts... (think outside the box much, do we?)
    • Excellent

      So Microsoft has finally said more about their prices than "competitive"?
      Michael Alan Goff
  • But some, even on zdnet, said the iPad has no competition

    A web search of "zdnet ipad has no competition" had two articles come up at the top. Just like those who said we have a classless society now say we have a class war, but before I digress too much...

    It's good to see competition between platforms. It'd be awfully boring otherwise...